A sampling from Hampton University’s Emancipation Oak planted on White House lawn

The sapling from the Emancipation Oak gifted to President Barack Obama after he spoke at Hampton University in May is now planted on White House grounds, HU’s president said.

HU President William R. Harvey said he saw it planted on the South Lawn when he was there for a summer party a few weeks ago. The oak sapling is near the magnolia tree planted in the 1830s by President Andrew Jackson in memory of his wife Rachel, according to HU.

“It is a great honor to have a sapling of the Emancipation Oak planted at the Obama White House,” Harvey said in a statement. “Now this piece of Hampton University history will continue to grow and flourish at the most famous house in the world.”

The shade of the Emancipation Oak served as a classroom in the 1860s for newly freed slaves, and in 1863, it was where the Emancipation Proclamation was read for the first time on the Peninsula.

The oak’s limbs sprawl more than 100 feet in diameter, and it is designated as one of the 10 Great Trees of the World by the National Geographic Society.

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